I’m A Person Not A Robot!

I’m A Person, Not A Robot!
Those of you who know me will know I’m a woman ‘of a certain age’. No sooner had I got myself fully conversant with the 20th century when I found myself rudely flung into the 21st. How does this ‘certain age’ affect me? Well, in several ways – some of which are probably not appropriate for a public forum – but one manifestation involves ‘technology’ and its impact on interaction with our fellow man.
I recently made a trip to Birmingham, courtesy of Southern Rail and Virgin trains. I’ve caught on to the fact that if I buy my tickets, in advance, ‘on line’, I’m more likely to grab myself a bargain (ha, ha – there are many interpretations of ‘bargain’, my friends). Any road, I did exactly that – secured tickets via the ether to be collected at my station of departure.
My departure date arrived. On entering the station concourse, I was delighted to discover that the ticket office was not only open, but ‘staffed’ as well (it isn’t always). Why should I be delighted at this prospect? Yes, OK, at ‘my age’, I am easily pleased, but mostly my delight stemmed from the fact that I would be able to converse with a real, live person in order to gain my tickets rather than faff around with one of those ruddy ticket machines which 1) require me to put on my glasses, 2) have buttons to press which are not conducive to fingernails of a certain length {remember my finger nails? If not – see a previous blog}, 3) seem to ‘time out’, forcing me to start the tortuous process all over again … I could go on!
Anyway, there he was – his name (Peter) proudly displayed on his name badge – behind his protective screen, sitting on his swivel chair, master of all he surveyed, his sole objective to assist members of the human race in purchasing train tickets. I approached with confidence, my booking reference number written neatly on a PostIt note. I smiled my nicest smile, gently shoved the yellow piece of paper through the small aperture that serves as the portal between his world and mine and said “… I’d like to collect these, please …”
Imagine my … um … dismay … disquiet … disillusionment … utter disbelief when the lovely Peter replied “… that’s a function usually performed at the ticket machine behind you, Madam (Madam! That’s when you really know you’re a woman of a ‘certain age’!), but on this occasion, I’m willing to perform that action on your behalf as a (wait for it …) customer service courtesy …”
CUSTOMER SERVICE COURTESY?! Are you ‘avin’ a larff? Isn’t that the crux of the lovely Peter’s job? Let’s ‘un-pick’ those 3 little words for a moment and see …
‘Customer’ – AKA ‘purchaser’, ‘buyer’ – one who buys goods or services. ‘Service’ – AKA ‘help’, ‘assistance’ – the act of helping someone. ‘Courtesy’ – AKA ‘politeness’, ‘consideration’ – behaviour that shows respect for another person. Yep – I’m fairly certain that as a ticket sales operative, a KPI (Ha! Didn’t think a ‘woman of a certain age’ would know that initialism, did you?!) is to aid the person handing over the money to make their purchase whilst maintaining a civil manner. It’s a good job those apertures are of the size they are, dear reader.
What has happened to human interaction? Why would I rather ‘interface’ with a machine than engage in gay badinage (not for long – obviously) with another member of the human race? Human interaction. AKA communicating with another individual / individuals.
At Speak The Speech we believe everyone has a voice and that everyone deserves to use that voice to the best of their ability. Our Presentation Skills programmes will help you to become inspirational as well as persuasive. Our Communication Skills programmes will help you to build healthier relationships with those around you. And as communication involves using your ears as well as your mouth, implicit within our workshops is how to listen effectively too.
To find out more, visit our website www.speakthespeech.co.uk where you can not only read more about what we have to offer, but can also ‘live chat’ with one of our support agents (yep, that’s animate contact with a fellow member of the human race). We look forward to helping you – in a respectful, gracious manner!
(PS: just a thought – if we each did something specific to show service and courtesy to another individual, we could, perhaps, ‘flash mob’ the world with kindness?).
(PPS: bet you didn’t think I’d know anything about ‘flash mobbing’ either, eh?).
(PPPS: I had to look it up!).